Fernandina & Isabela Islands

Sep 03, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we awoke in the western realm of the archipelago! We had an early start looking for whales in the Bolivar Channel, one of the most productive channels in the Galapagos due to upwelling currents rich in nutrients. Looking through our windows and seeing all those young lava flows made us feel as if we had gone back in time. The Galapagos hotspot is located on the west of the archipelago and this is where all the islands were formed.

This morning we visited the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina Island. We started the morning with a hike across young lava fields covered with marine iguanas. The island was spectacular, visited by penguins, flightless cormorants nesting and sea lions playing and resting. The morning continued in the water with snorkeling, where we got to share the ocean with feeding marine iguanas and sea turtles, curious sea lions and many fish.

The afternoon was very exciting, as we went Zodiac riding on Punta Vicente Roca, a spot located on western Isabela. Just as we started the ride we had the amazing surprise of orca whales right in front of us! The western realm is really a magical place!

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About the Author

Gianna Haro

Naturalist

Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

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